The MGA With An Attitude

At 05:18 PM 7/22/03 -0700, Rick deOlazarra wrote:
>"It's an MGA - .... play in the steering wheel from worn felt bushes. ....
.... If anyone's done this job and has figured a way to get those bushes compressed around the steering shaft enough to clear the space between the shaft and the outer tube while re-introducing the shaft back into the outer tube, I'd sure like to hear it".

Waving hand here. BTDT. It's a vintage (well seasoned) problem. I last did mine in 1986, about 183,000 miles ago, but I'm about to do it again, new parts from Moss Motors already in hand. I have the same observation now as 17 years ago, that the felt material is too thick for the top bushing on the adjustable column. Some things never change. Are you listening Kelvin? [With later review, it looks like the bottom one may fit okay.]

Upper and lower bushings dor steering column
Innocent looking pieces of felt, but still a problem.

My solution was to tack one end of the felt strip down on the wooden workbench, then go at it very gently with a wire wheel in an electric drill to remove some fluff from the surface of the felt to thin it out a bit. I seem to recall taking a couple of light passes with trial and try again technique to sneak up on it a bit at a time to avoid going too thin.
Lock Ease
The whole process took maybe a half hour and resulted in a fit that was tight enough to be difficult to turn with the wrist but very easy to turn with the steering wheel. Put the felt pieces in the tube first, then push the shaft through. I oiled the felt just a little during assembly, then soaked the felt in oil after assembly. Graphite lock lube seems like a good idea for lubricant here, but be prepared for the felt to soak up a lot of the stuff. The Workshop Manual, under General Description of the steering gear, says the felt bushings were originally impregnated with oil and graphite, so I guess the graphite loaded oil Lock-Ease may be just the ticket for this application.

I think it went more than 100,000 miles in 12 years before noticing a little play again in the top bushing (you would probably never notice the bottom one). I've been tolerating it for the past 5 years as it's getting a little looser, but it's time now for the fix again (but not a high priority). I would post a few pictures here if it ever happens (see next page).

Thank you for your comments -- Send e-mail to <Barney Gaylord>
© 2004-2013 Barney Gaylord -- Copyright and reprint information